Semi-Truck Accidents Differ from Car Accidents

SemiTruck Accident with Car

Approximately, 5,000 people in passenger vehicles die every year in automotive accidents involving semi-trucks or other large commercial trucks. Semi-truck accidents differ from car accidents in their complexity, seriousness of injuries and the FMCSA regulations they must adhere to.

Greater chance for life altering Injuries and higher medical bills.

Large commercial semi-trucks typically weigh between 10,000 and 80,000 pounds. Because of their sheer size, accidents involving a semi-truck tend to be more catastrophic and life-altering in nature than those that occur between standard passenger vehicles.

Injuries sustained in these types of accidents tend to incur higher medical bills. Traumatic injuries typically mean longer hospital stays, more extensive testing and diagnoses, longer recovery time and may even become permanent disabilities.

Insurance claims are more complicated.

semi truck accidents differ large commercial trucks seriousness of injuries differ from car accidents complexity regulationsThere may be one insurance policy covering the truck and another insuring the truck driver. Some trucking companies carry separate policies to insure their trailers or to insure the goods being transported. It can be complicated sorting out the different insurance policies.

Also, because of the vehicle’s size and the damage a large semi-truck can inflict, larger insurance policies may be carried. While this sounds good, this provides insurance adjusters an incentive to find a way out of or to reduce the amount of liability for an accident. For instance, an insurance company may offer what seems like a large sum of money at the beginning of the claim to distract from the real value of the case.

Federal laws apply in addition to state laws.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the lead federal government agency responsible for regulating and providing safety oversight of commercial motor vehicles, issuing regulations that apply to these large vehicles. For instance:

  • Some regulations require trucks and/or trucking companies to carry a minimum of $750,000 insurance coverage depending on the commodities transported.
  • Truck drivers must maintain driver logs to track their driving time since they can only drive for a maximum number of hours each day.
  • There are federally mandated maintenance standards, record keeping requirements and record retention periods truck drivers and trucking companies must comply with.

Because of the interstate nature of the job, trucking companies are governed by hundreds more regulations than a typical passenger vehicle, all of which make it more complicated to determine the cause and liability of an accident.

When you have had an accident where serious injuries, even a fatality, are involved, the first thing you should do is hire a personal injury lawyer.

Receive a Free Evaluation from Kansas City Truck Accident Attorneys

If you have been seriously injured in an accident with a semi-truck, in the Kansas City and surrounding area, the truck accident attorneys at Nash & Franciskato are your advocates. We understand the complexities involved in semi-truck accidents. We will conduct a thorough review of your case, determine who was at fault and help you pursue compensation for your injuries, lost wages and other damages.

One of our experienced staff will speak with you personally and provide you with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.



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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published February 18, 2019. It was reviewed on February 28, 2023 and updated for content and accuracy.

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